Born to be Mild
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We had breakfast at our hotel today. After yesterdays frequent food related fiascos we imagined that no matter what we ordered we'd probably be served an octopus and a candle and the former would be more likely to be on fire. Not so at all. I ordered the Mexican breakfast, Marcin ordered the Fruit lovers breakfast which was a pile of fried food with a glass of juice. It was very cheap and when mine came it was impressive. It tasted good too and Marcin grumbled because mine was bigger.
I had no luck last night finding a bike so Marcin found a place online and mailed it
Mine had no speedo and the brakes were just barely functional. That didn’t matter as the 150cc engine generated less power than a lawn mower and 30mph was pushing our luck. The Enfield was heavy and slightly difficult but sounded very nice and looked the part. It could only manage around 30mph as well. We didn’t care, it was actually a welcome change after the mad dash across country to ride something slower than a refund cheque from the inland revenue.
We climbed into the countryside and the scenery just got better and better. The mountains are softer here, green and inviting. The people have cut grooves into the sides, i’m not sure why but I guess it’s something to do with being able to farm it easier. In any case it looks amazing, it has a unique style I’ve not seen anywhere else and is very striking. Even more so because there are no heavy machines here, this was done by hand with light tools. There is none of the stark baroness of Switzerland where the mountains are foreboding and life is permitted to exist on certain conditions, here the people have become a function of the environment. They live off the land and in closer harmony with it
The roads got worse, surfaces broke up into shattered concrete, dirt and mud and still buses and trucks came towards us with nowhere to pass, the lane was so narrow. People were mostly driving carefully, they honked as they approached a bend and generally waited for somewhere to pass. The roads up here dropped hundreds of metres straight down and everyone seemed to respect the obvious dangers.
We rounded a corner and saw what Marcin had been itching to find. A view of the mountain ranges. There they were, grey and murky with unmistakable snow covered peaks pointing jaggedly into the cloudless blue sky like the teeth of a predator. It was a striking sight and the temperature dropped sharply as we stopped to take pictures. We left to carry on for more views and a truck was coming the other way, being driven carelessly. Marcin had no choice but to try and pass on the opposite side as our was cut off and the Enfield skidded towards the precipice. It caught only a few inches from the edge. No harm done but I wouldn’t like to be the person who has to wash his pants tomorrow
We carried on, the cold got worse until the shadow lifted and then it was warm again. We stopped a few times and everywhere you looked was still more of this incredible green mountain scene. At one point a huge bird of prey swam majestically through the air, barely moving its wings, just gliding on the warm breeze.
It was a great day and a beautiful place to go and see. Unfortunately the roads here are so poor that we had to see it twice, we turned round and came back the same way. There was a small dotted line on the map indicating a road but it was little more than a path through the trees and our bikes wouldn’t have managed 50 miles of that. If we had stayed longer it would have been a great camping trip but my little Chinese enduro would have shaken itself apart and forced my spine up through skull on every bump. The Enfield would have just laughed and spluttered to a halt.
The ride back was still great, we stopped for more pictures along the way until eventually we made it back to the little town at the edge of the city. From there we battled our way against the traffic until we managed to find our way back to the hotel.
Once there we dropped the bikes back. I told the dealer about the fuel and he laughed. I told him I would keep the keys until he could find the money to buy them back from me. I believe it was a genuine oversight but I’m not letting him get away with it if it wasn’t.
So tonight we’re hitting a few bars and saying goodbye to Nepal. For me this is the end of the trip. Thailand is my final destination and tomorrow I’ll be there with my bike. I will ride with Marcin to the border but it’s no longer my journey, it’s just to wave him off.
I have to say, Nepal has been the best country of the trip. Iran was nice and the people were great and it was brilliant to see Pakistan, Serbia and spend some time in Poland again but Nepal has trumped them all with its incredible scenery.